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Pelicans’ Darius Miller ruptures Achilles tendon

Phoenix Suns v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 16: Darius Miller #21 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns on March 16, 2019 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The Pelicans seemingly re-signed Darius Miller to a $7.25 million starting salary with $7 million unguaranteed salary the following season for two main reasons:

1. They want his contract to facilitate a trade.

2. They want his outside shooting to help them make the playoffs.

No. 2 is out the window.

Pelicans release:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward Darius Miller underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon.

This will likely sideline Miller all season.

The Pelicans are deep and can withstand this injury. But this puts more pressure on 28-year-old rookie Nicolo Melli, who signed from Europe, to serve as the bigger shooting forward. Miller already proved he could fill that role.

New Orleans could still use Miller’s high salary in a trade. But some other teams might have valued his production. That’s obviously off the table now.

Miller’s best bet might be the Pelicans having to guarantee his 2020-21 salary for a trade next summer. Otherwise, he’s likely entering free agency at age 30 coming off a major injury.